Upgrade of the R40 national road gets thumbs up from the Traditional Leadership in Bushbuckridge Local Municipality
Bushbuckridge, 1 August 2022 – The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) hosted a stakeholder information sharing session with the traditional leadership of the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality on Thursday (28 July 2022) regarding the R40 national road upgrade. The session was followed by a site visit to inspect Section 5 of R40 national road in Bushbuckridge Local Municipality with the Executive Mayor, Councillor Sylvia Nxumalo.
SANRAL fosters collaboration with traditional leadership and consults on time regarding project-related activities from which local small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and local communities can benefit. The R40 national road upgrade will start from Hazyview to Maviljan in the City of Mbombela and Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, and from Maviljan to Arthur Seat in Bushbuckridge Local Municipality.
The traditional leadership welcomed this project that will not only bring employment and subcontracting opportunities but will boost the tourism sector and lead to improved road safety in the long term.
Kgoši Mathibela Mokoena, chairperson of the house of traditional leaders in Mpumalanga and also the President of The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (CONTRALESA), said that these engagements are important. “The R40 national road is busy and congested, many lives have been lost because the road is not user-friendly. The arrangement by SANRAL to come to engage benefits us as we obtain the correct information firsthand,” he said.
“A lot of people will be employed when this project gets underway. Bushbuckridge is a rural municipality, more than 64% of our community is unemployed, graduates are seating at home with qualifications. We are grateful that this road will be improved and will facilitate road safety and more tourism activity in our municipality.”
The Executive Mayor of Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, Councillor Sylvia Nxumalo, added that SANRAL as an agency of the Department of Transport is demonstrating leadership and that the government is serious about service delivery.
“As Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, we are confident that the R40 national road upgrade will get the much-needed support from local people because they have been consulted. SANRAL promises to hit the ground running particularly on the matters of land acquisitions with the stakeholders from the 272 stands affected,” she said.
The majority of the land affected is tribal land. 60 hectares of land will need to be acquired. All occupants of affected sites will be engaged one-on-one starting from the first week of August 2022.
SANRAL Project Manager in the Northern Region, Vanessa Kgaphola, said this project will create jobs for local labour and training opportunities for unskilled labour in Bushbuckridge Local Municipality.
“As part of empowering the local SMMEs and the community the R40 national road upgrade will include Community Development Initiatives. SMMEs and targeted labour who meet the requirements will be involved in community development initiatives such as training opportunities,” she said.
The R40 is a link to the N4 Maputo Development Corridor which improves trade and stimulates economic development between South Africa and Mozambique. The R40 national road traverses through strategic economic hubs in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, it provides a direct